The Phillies have packed Citizens Bank Park with fan cut-outs during the pandemic-shortened season, possibly more than any other team in Major League Baseball.
What’s more, the Phils have started a neat tradition: when a player hits a home run, a cut-out with their face is placed where the ball first lands.
In Sunday night’s marathon loss to the Braves, Phillies left fielder Andrew McCutchen smacked a fly ball to right field for a solo homer to bring the Phils within one run. And he never could’ve guessed where the ball would land.
When a Citizens Bank Park employee went to place McCutchen’s cut-out, they found a cut-out honoring Breonna Taylor waiting:
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was killed by police officers in her Louisville home in mid-March. Her killing has been a focal point amid nationwide protests and calls to end systemic racism, racial injustice, and police brutality in the United States.
If you follow the ball in the video below, you can watch it land right where Taylor’s cut-out is situated:
Andrew McCutchen followed Roman Quinn’s home run with one of his own to cut the Braves lead to one. pic.twitter.com/Mak9DqatyB
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) August 31, 2020
It’s not clear who exactly placed the Taylor cut-out in the stands.
McCutchen’s home run found Taylor’s cut-out just three days after the Phillies chose to postpone their game with the Nationals as the pro sports world organized wildcat strikes to raise more awareness about racism, injustice, and police brutality following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
Earlier this summer, McCutchen talked in detail about how he personally wants to approach tackling social justice issues:
“I think it’s about all of us having an understanding of each other and talking and having an open dialogue about why we’re doing what we’re doing regardless of the reasoning,” McCutchen said. “It’s all about having that open dialogue and conversing about it. That’s how this whole thing can make things better.
“I’m all about being part of something and doing something to create change. Not just change, but positive change.”